Yoga is becoming very popular today and there are many reasons for this. Fundamental yoga starts with the body and young people are growing and developing each day.
Yoga during the formative period for youths is useful for developing healthy exercise habits and so, for the youth, looking towards yoga is a natural progression. So we see a good match between yoga and youth.
Why Choose Yoga?
The youthful years can be a formative time for young people in which they often struggle with issues like body image, peer pressure and bullying.
Yoga can be a big relief or outlet for young people since yoga is a mind-body practice that helps us build strength, focus and clarity in our busy world of day-to-day.
It is widely practiced for health and relaxation and yoga is great for reducing stress and allowing for balance in our thoughts and bodies.
What Is Generation Z?
Young people today are a group of people that can be interesting, friendly, social, surprising and challenging. They can face various classifications like rebellious, lazy or unproductive, possibly messy, or even self-centered.
Young people today are known as Generation Z, the generation that came after the Millennials. Generation Z is also known as Post-Millennials, the iGeneration or the Homeland Generation.
Generation Z is known by several characteristics like:
- Being very social with alot of media consumption habits.
- They can like cool products over cool experiences.
- They tend to be more entrepreneurial and tech-savvy.
- They process information faster than other generations with apps like Snapchat and Vine.
- And they tend to like voicing their opinion, even more than Millenials.
Gen Z likes to do a lot of things online. On the internet today there is alot of information and if a Gen Z’er knows they are capable of learning something themselves, or through a more efficient, non-traditional route, you can bet they’ll take the opportunity.
This won’t stop them from starting more traditional practices like yoga though. Many young people are starting yoga and a lot are staying with it too.
They see the many benefits yoga has to offer like movement, variety and getting focused in a busy world out there.
Why Youth Do Yoga
Youth like yoga because it is full of movement and they might like some cool and challenging yoga poses to do.
It allows them to experience their world beyond just the physical realm that they are used to but it offers them the world of yoga – an ancient science and system of moves that is good for their body, mind and spirit too.
Yoga And Movement
Young people like movement and have a big thirst for it. Yoga introduces them to a variety of movements and nourishes their excitement for it.
Research has shown that over 1.7 million children and teens practice yoga and that is a number that has grown by 400,000 in the last decade.
Yoga can be done from the privacy of your home, at a studio or in a classroom. Most people practicing yoga are engaged in asanas (poses) which is movement designed to purify the body and provide physical strength and stamina that the ancients used for long periods in meditation.
Many schools are now offering movement and mindfulness programs to help reduce stress, improve mood, and promote physical fitness.
Yoga helps with overall focus in general as well as strength, flexibility, and balance, and yoga is becoming a popular alternative to traditional gym classes.
Also yoga is becoming more accepted, more popular especially with sports people like football and basketball players. Some teams are even doing yoga routines along with meditation.
This trend in sports has helped young boys who might normally have avoided yoga to engage in the practice.
Yoga Offers Variety
Yoga also offers a lot of variety to young people. It has a big variety of poses and there are a lot of ways to mix poses in the sequences of routines. Examples are like using backward and forward bends, twists or inversions, side bends, or even balancing poses. Another good idea is to mix standing and sitting poses.
More examples of variety are like using dance, drama, or martial arts. Young people might also be attracted to practices like acro-yoga, acrobatics or vinyasa yoga.
There is always the more traditional stuff like healing or breathing exercises. They will always like some challenging poses too but they should be sure to keep it balanced. The main thing here to keep in mind is to avoid injury.
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Keeping It Creative
It is always good to keep the yoga practice creative. We mentioned that variety makes the practice interesting but creative is good too.
Some examples of things to make it creative are:
- Partnering yoga sequences with two people or doing acro-yoga moves
- You can ask each other what is your favorite pose and have them show it to everyone
- Or ‘show and tell’ where each person shows a pose and names it then says what they like about it.
- Bring their attention to the specific muscles that are being stretched or strengthened in every pose.
- Youths might like music to do yoga with. Let them practice yoga and create yoga sequences based on this music. Find stuff they like.
Other ways to be more creative are giving classes and routines a theme. Some examples of themes are like friendship, happiness, working together, love and imagination. These types of themes can bring people together and really get a warm feeling going in the group activity. These ideas can help to encourage creativity.
Yoga And Education
Yoga makes young people beautiful and helps them learn how to enjoy and love their body too. Besides doing poses just for health and exercise we also want to educate the youth and remind them it’s important to emphasize that beauty comes from within.
Young people like learning so we can keep it educational but still fun. They soak up knowledge like a sponge so it’s good to teach the physical and mental benefits of the practice, so that they know how great it is for them!
It’s good to educate them and teach them the yoga basics, they need to learn yoga basics. It’s good to add music or themes to yoga practice but the basics are fundamental to yoga and should always be kept in mind. Things like practice good breathing, doing regular practice or caution when trying difficult poses.
Breath training is so useful and definitely helps in the development of the practice. Proper breathing can calm the mind and helps with studies in school classes.
Yoga, through breath and awareness, provides the opportunity to stand back and to regulate your responses to stress in a calm and thoughtful manner. This can help to find peace. It is also a good idea to educate young people on the origins of yoga.
Yoga And Self-Growth
Originally yoga was for spiritual development and was practiced to train the body and mind to observe itself and become aware of its nature. Yoga was meant to cultivate awareness, focus, self-growth and higher consciousness.
Yoga teaches health and fitness but once you get into yoga though, you learn that it is so much more than just a way to workout and keep in shape. It is a philosophy and a way of life for many of those involved in it.
While you may be getting into yoga for the exercise, you may soon find yourself wrapped in the philosophy and spirituality that yoga brings as well.
People use yoga to help raise their quality of life in such diverse areas as fitness, stress relief, wellness, vitality, mental clarity, healing, peace of mind and spiritual growth.
Young people can get so restless and yoga has a good calming quality. It is a comprehensive system for wellbeing on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Yoga is a system, not of beliefs, but of techniques and guidance for enriched living.
Yoga And Meditation
Yoga since its beginning was geared for or aimed towards meditation. It is good to develop discipline and self-regulation so we are in better shape to deal with lifes challenges.
Yoga and mindfulness provide youths with skills to navigate these challenges and build a foundation that benefits both the mind and body well beyond the young age years.
Mindfulness practices are designed to be non-judgmental and yoga focuses on how to use mindfulness and movement to improve focus and body awareness.
We use mindfulness to adjust the physiology, the posture, the breathing, to access a relaxed and focused state or even relieve anxiety. Mindfulness teaches us about depth and substance.
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Yoga has so many benefits and there are a lot of things you can do in yoga. Young people are trying yoga now and so many are liking it. Yoga’s benefits are as long lasting as yoga itself and that’s why many yogis keep at it and practice into the older years.
It’s good to start young and the youths should get a good education in the ways of yoga. As time goes by they can be someday teaching their kids about the benefits of yoga and youth!
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